Encyclopedia of Wildfires and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires

Living Edition
| Editors: Samuel L. Manzello

Safety Zone

  • B. W. ButlerEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51727-8_25-1



A preplanned area of sufficient size and suitable location that is expected to protect fire personnel from known hazards without using fire shelters.


The National Wildfire Coordinating Group and NIFC (2004) define safety zones as preplanned areas of refuge that can be utilized without the use of fire shelters in case of entrapment. The earliest known guideline was developed by Green and Schimke (1971) in relation to fuel breaks for high-intensity brush fires based on radiant heating. A more recent model advanced by Butler and Cohen (1998a) was also developed based on radiant heating, which was distilled to a general guideline suggesting that the separation distance between the firefighters and the flames should be at least four times the flame height (Butler and Cohen 1998b; National Wildfire Coordinating Group and NIFC 2004). Additionally, Zárate et al. (2008) and Rossi et al. (2011) produced other physically based radiant heat...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Missoula Fire Science LaboratoryUS Forest ServiceMissoulaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sara McAllister
    • 1
  1. 1.USDA Forest ServiceRMRS Missoula Fire Sciences LaboratoryMissoulaUSA